• Amarildo Prendi

3 Clean Eating Habits for Losing Weight, According to Science

We often make losing weight so complicated we end up quitting from sheer exhaustion or frustration. That's why calorie counting is so hard to maintain for months on end. Complicated diet strategies may additionally work for a time, but then life happens. We get busy. We get hungry. We reduce corners and reach for a candy bar. Or worse—the drive-thru.

Let's simplify our weight-loss plan a bit, shall we? We can do that by boiling it down to a simple phrase, just two easy-to-remember words that aren't just a suggestion but a command: Eat Clean.

By eating clean most of the time, you can lose weight without any feelings of deprivation, because you will quickly learn the connection between what you devour and how you feel. Eat Clean is simply a call to action that means consuming more whole foods.

"Eating clean means eating whole unprocessed foods from the earth most of the time, limiting junk food and committing to a whole food, minimally processed, conscious diet," says registered dietitian nutritionist Amy Shapiro, RD, founder of Real Nutrition NYC.

If the Eat Clean mantra isn't enough to get you started on your path to a healthier diet, try establishing these 3 clean eating habits to start losing weight right now.

1 Take a baby step.

Start eating cleaner by cleaning up just one meal. Choose breakfast, for example. First, take an inventory of all the breakfast foods you typically eat in a typical week. Write them down. How many are packaged or processed foods? Now, pick a day to start and replace most if not all of those processed foods with smarter swaps, two scrambled eggs instead of breakfast sausage for protein, for example, oatmeal for sweetened cold cereal, whole-wheat toast for a bagel. "Getting into the habit of clean eating is simply a matter of thinking before you put a fork in it," says Shapiro.

2 Go whole hog, minus the hog.

If "Eat Clean" is your verse, make "Whole Food" your chorus. "Whole foods are rich in fiber, often water and nutrients to slow digestion, help us to feel full longer, and reduce sugar cravings," says Shapiro. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits and choose whole grains over white grains. "Ultimately, whole foods 'crowd out' less healthy foods. We tend to eat less and smaller portions of whole foods than we do processed foods that are created to make us crave more."

3 Eat naked.

"The idea of clean eating can help to decrease additives in foods like sodium, sugar, and fat that are typically added to overly processed items," says nutritionist Kim Pierce, RD, a certified diabetes care and education specialist and owner of The Outdoors Dietitian.

Read nutrition labels and don't devour what you can't pronounce. "Decreasing additives will help with weight loss as you will eat fewer calories from those foods," says Pierce.

One way to quickly get into the habit of eating naked: Clean out your pantry. Read labels and toss the foods that are so laden with preservatives, they'd still be edible during the next pandemic.

Originally published: Eat This Not That

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